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All comments by Christopher Monsour
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Peter, obviously you don't understand psychs if you think they are not part of a battle of wits.
April 9, 2016
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Classic thing you need to discuss: When there is a singleton in dummy in the opening lead suit in a suit contract, is 3rd hand's signal attitude or suit preference.
April 8, 2016
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How about if there is no agreement, but 2NT bidder is hoping his partner will be able to “work it out” from the auction as a whole and his own hand? It would seem to me no alert is required then…but of course one of the difficulties with BBO and with screens is that it's not entirely clear what explanation one should give when one tries something like this. “I hope he will work it out” seems to be the standard one.
April 8, 2016
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If you really want to piss off a psycher who has a pet psych, pull that person's pet psych when playing in a national event against a member of the BoD.
April 8, 2016
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Brad, the club level is the one level of the game where it is clearly impossible to ban psychs, because the standard of play is such that you wouldn't be able to tell the psychs from the misbids….
April 8, 2016
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It really ought to be about the strengths of the partnerships or teams, not just the psycher. I remember in a Vanderbilt match years ago with like #4 (them) vs #61 (us), the client psyched a 2NT opening on a yarborough. If it was just him vs us, that might have made sense strategically, but his top-expert partner must have silently moaned that his boss was making him work extra hard by trying to keep the match close…
April 8, 2016
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I think Helgemo should weigh in on this one.
April 8, 2016
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Of course, the same thing could happen with entirely correct bidding and explanations, and reading the ending from it would clearly be fair game.
April 8, 2016
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If what I mentioned in the second paragraph seems unlikely, I do remember being dummy in 6NT once. Partner had misbid, and as declarer said before the opening lead that he had misbid and said what he thought his bids had meant (but without reading out his shape explicitly). Middle of the hand, an opponent asks again, so to make it easy on them, partner says his exact shape and honors (just the honors he thought he had shown during the auction). While it wasn't my partner's intent to gain an edge by that, I suspect the resulting “aha” moment for the opponent helped him read the ending correctly.
April 8, 2016
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It's not *that* different from the current laws (in that directors are supposed to presume mistaken explanation unless there is at least some evidence of mistaken bid). It's not that different from current practice. (E.g., I've generally announced what I thought I showed as declarer before the opening lead, if I thought the explanations were wrong, and my partners have done likewise. Of course, we're the kind of folks who are unlikely to believe we misbid until partner has a chance to show us the system notes later.)

Interesting question is whether information generated by your announcement of your hand shape is UI to you. Quite commonly it seems to instantly solve a problem for the opponent.

It may even cause the opponents to misdefend (e.g., you tell them your actual shape, and they underlead their ace to get to partner's hand, but your singleton was the king.) Are the opponents now entitled to an adjustment if it was merely a mistaken bid, because you voluntarily proferred an explanation, not required by the laws, of what you intended your bid to mean that caused them to misdefend?
April 8, 2016
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Which solution are you referring to?
April 7, 2016
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Not only an expert. Also non-experts who think they are experts.
April 7, 2016
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As a statistician, when I read a statement like the one about the simulation above, I feel like AE Housman must have felt when he wrote:

“Textual criticism, like most other sciences, is an aristocratic affair, not communicable to all men, nor to most men. Not to be a textual critic is no reproach to anyone, unless he pretends to be what he is not. To be a textual critic requires aptitude for thinking and willingness to think; and though it also requires other things, those things are supplements and cannot be substitutes. Knowledge is good, method is good, but one thing beyond all others is necessary; and that is to have a head, not a pumpkin, on your shoulders and brains, not pudding, in your head.”
April 7, 2016
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Dave, I take it by “passed hand bidding” in this context, you mean interventions over opener's rebid, after having passed initially. I can't imagine a robust system for that that could apply against standard, unless it included opening leads. :)
April 7, 2016
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Not necessarily…May have been aiming for “safer” 3NT with extra points if opener was balanced but will to look for slam otherwise.
April 7, 2016
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I agree about preempts as dealer, Oren. I do think it changes preempts in other seats. For example, even if you don't play highly disciplined second seat preempts against other pairs, you should against Precision pairs since dealer's not having opened means so much more.
April 7, 2016
Christopher Monsour edited this comment April 7, 2016
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I find it hard to believe that it can possibly be optimal to play the same defense to a standard 1 and a Polish 1, since the latter is forcing. At the very least you can pass initially with a strong NT overcall and redeploy 1NT as Raptor or the like!
April 7, 2016
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That's easy. The shapely hands that are included in the nebulous 1 all have substantial extra strength and a hope of bidding again, or have primary clubs, the suit that wins no competitive auctions and that other pairs struggle with identifying as a long suit also. On the other hand, the nebulous 1 opening includes minimum hands with long diamonds and simply loses diamonds in competitive auctions where everyone else is finding them.

Additionally, even with long clubs, with a minimum you don't open 1 in most variants of Polish, and in AUC you only open 1 on a minimum if you have a four-card major.

Of course, playing Precision, there are various partial solutions to the conundrum: You can use a 12-14 NT so that 1 can promise diamonds. (Assuming you are willing to open 1 on 15 balanced.) Also, assuming it's a legal convention in your event, you can use 2 to show the Precision 2 opening, and use a 2 opening to show a 6+ diamond one-suiter with 8-14 points. (Of course, that gives up having a weak two in hearts, and tends to wrong-side 4 contracts when opener opens 2.)
April 7, 2016
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I recall once seeing a Polish Club write-up (nothing to do with Reese) that used “transfers” to suits that were potentially four cards long. The same could be done in Precision.

In order to have 2 and 2 as transfers to 5+ card suits be workable in an uncontested auction, you really need a 2 opening that denies a four-card major–as in Unassuming Club.
April 7, 2016
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You have not suggested that there is any unauthorized information, so it clearly can't be ethically wrong to pass. You also haven't told us their system, so I don't see how I can agree with 100% systemically forced. The last option is a grammatical impossibility. (“Neither…and…”) So I abstain. But I can easily see how passing could be right in systems where rebidding 2 instead of raising immediately has boxed opener's hand as quite minimal.
April 6, 2016
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